Things you want to know before selecting your toilet

Table of Contents

1. Terms

Pan: The bottom section, or bowl

Cistern: The top section where the water is stored

P-Trap: When the exit pipe come through the wall , making it a horizontal connection

S-Trap: When the exit pipe comes through the floor, making it a vertical connection

Top inlet: When the water supply pipe enters through the back of the cistern, also known as a concealed connection

Bottom inlet: When the water supply pipe comes through the wall at the bottom, usually this is visible, with a chrome valve and pipe

Wall faced/back to wall: When the entire toilet finishes flush with the wall and it looks like the cistern and pan are one piece. Unlike a link-suite or close-couple suite where the pan and the cistern look seperate and the inlet may be exposed at the bottom…

2. Quality of the toilet

Toilets are often an overlooked item in regards to quality. Many people are of the opinion that considering its intended purpose that the quality is inconsequential. Which to some degree could be true. But the reality is that no one wants to have to call a plumber to repair a bathroom fixture. At Empire bathrooms we have been installing toilets for more than 20 years, we have seen it all from cheap and nasty to opulent luxury. Our goal is to supply fixtures that will last the lifetime of your bathroom. So rest assured that all of the toilets found on our site pass the Empire Bathrooms check list.

Some of the things that make a notable difference are:


The internal components of your toilet cistern are most likely the most complex mechanical part of your entire bathroom. Bearing that in mind, the quality of the cistern mechanism is vital. There are many small rubber seals and valves that are prone to wear and degradation. From our extensive experience, we have found that there is a few standout brands. Geberit are an international company who specialise in cisterns. All of their components  are  not  only  high  quality,  but  the spare parts are very accessible. Our Bel Bagno toilet suites all have geberit internal components, making them very good value for money. Caroma also make very high quality internal components. In our opinion they are on par with Geberit. All of the other brands available on our site also have good quality components and are priced accordingly.


Almost all toilets are finished with a white glaze. This is a material that is painted over the raw ceramic mould and becomes hardened and sealed when exposed to heat through the kiln process of manufacturing. Nano glaze technology is a new ultra smooth, anti bacterial coating that is an improvement on the existing glazes.


Seats and buttons fall into this category. Most of us have used a soft close seat, they are very practical and quiet. They are however more prone to failure than your traditional seat. Another reason why is best to play it safe with quality brands.

Buttons are quite hardwearing, most buttons go the distance.


This is an important aspect of any decision around purchasing. Note that different parts of your toilet might have a different warranty periods, for example the bowl might have a 10 year warranty where as seat might have a 1 year warranty. Its always good to check before making a decision.

The most important aspect of warranty is the reputation of the company backing it. The suppliers we use have professional staff and not contractors to service any faults directly. Furthermore companies that have been around longer will have a better chance of still being around in years to come when you might need them.

3. Making sure the toilet fits

There is two main questions to ask here. Is your toilet going into a new bathroom, or an existing bathroom. And here is why:

New bathroom

This scenario gives us some latitude for choices. We could go for a standard back to wall unit or an inwall cistern with a wall hung pan. The choice is yours. Please note its worth checking with your builder or plumber first as some options require more time to be set up than others.

Once the design and configuration is accounted for the plumbing should be easy. As long as the toilet is selected before the plumber puts his pipework in the walls and floor it will be a dream run. If you can send a spec sheet of your toilet to your plumber before they start the work, you will make them very happy and it will eliminate any problems at installation.

Existing Bathroom

There is quite a few things to consider here. At Empire bathrooms we make this job super easy- We offer an installation service to go with your purchase (Sydney metro only) Should you choose this option we will have a phone consultation with you regarding the plumbing and fixing situation. Also the removal and disposal of the existing unit. If you live out of town or prefer organise your own plumber you will need to consider these items:

Where the pipes currently come through the floor and wall. This is the most vital component of making sure you get the right toilet.

Inlet: Most older existing toilets have the water inlet pipe and valve at the bottom, either left or right, if this is the case, you will want a toilet with a bottom inlet option.

If you are looking at the wall faced/back to wall option, please be aware that if the current water inlet location happens to be directly behind where the new pan would finish against the wall, you will have a problem. In this case you might be better off with a close couple or link suite. Then the pan finishes away from the wall and you will still have room for the water inlet pipe and valve.

Outlet: Most toilets have the outlet/exit/waste pipe through the floor (S-trap). You will need to know how many millimetres it is to the centre of this pipe from the wall. This measurement is often referred to as the set out. If you have a pan that covers the pipe you can measure from the wall to the edge of the pan and add 100mm (this is a rough guide). When purchasing the toilet suite you are often given an option for set out measurements, often the range of 60-150 and 150-240. Note that beyond 240 you will have an issue.

If you have a Toilet that has the waste pipe exiting through the wall you will need a (P-trap) toilet.

The height off the floor for these is pretty universal at 180mm and is adjustable by a few mm either way. Be aware that if the toilet doesn’t fit your current plumbing configuration then your plumber might have to remove floor and wall tiles to relocate the piping to the required locations. This may damage waterproofing and will result in a need to replace tiles before the toilet can be installed. If you have a clever plumber on your side you might be able to work around these issues. Bottom line is, if you are unsure, call 98194681 and we can give you professional advice.

4. Selecting the right options

Now that you know what option will suit your scenario, lets look at a few pros and cons of the different options.

Wall faced/back to wall

Pros: This is the most popular choice. They finish flush with the wall which eliminates a lot of cleaning. There is many brands and styles available. They look good and are affordable.

Cons: won’t fit all retro fit plumbing set outs.

Toilets with Inwall cisterns

Pros: Can use up less space, wall hung pan option is easier to clean the floor with a mop. Looks great.

Cons: Definitely not possible to retro fit. More costly. (Note: With inwall cisterns, many people are concerned that the internal parts are not accessible and hard to repair. With the modern units this is not the case. Most plumbers will have no trouble making repairs and finding parts.)

Link suites

Pros: will retro fit almost any situation. Usually cost less.

Cons: Harder to clean, don’t look as neat as other options.

Close couple

Pros: Looks slightly better than link suites

Cons: The waste pipe stout needs to be exact, or there will be problems.

5. Getting the right style

Now we know the ins and outs of selecting the right toilet here comes the hard part. Deciding what you want. Luckily there isn’t too many styles to choose from. Most are rounded and some square. Some have some detail shapes in the pan. Matching the shape to other fixtures in the room will help.

Think about what whether your toilet needs to match the existing style of your house or are you starting from scratch.

If you are having trouble don’t be afraid to involve an interior designer. Call us on 98194681 and book in Lydia for your full bathroom design service. Cost of consultation is included in some purchases.

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